Moroccan orange & cardamom cake

Moroccan orange & cardamom cake

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 5 mins

More effort

Serves 10 - 12

Replace sugar with xylitol and swap butter and oil for a puréed whole orange in this light and zesty cake, with ground almonds and polenta

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving (12)

  • kcal257
  • fat26g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs2g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre1g
  • protein13g
  • salt0.3g
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  • 2 oranges, scrubbed



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • seeds of 6 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 225g pack xylitol (we used Total Sweet)


    Xylitol is an all-natural alternative to sugar. The substance derives from the fibres of plants…

  • 6 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 200g pack ground almonds
  • 50g polenta



    An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…

  • 25g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds
  • Greek yogurt or cream, to serve


  1. Put the whole oranges in a pan, cover with water and boil, covered, for 1 hr until a knife easily pierces them. If the oranges won’t stay under the water, place a small saucepan lid directly on top to keep them submerged. Remove the oranges from the water and cool, then quarter and remove any seeds and obvious pith where the stalk was. Blitz the oranges to a rough purée with a hand blender or in a food processor and put in a large bowl.

  2. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and line the base and sides of a 21cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. Beat the cardamom, xylitol and eggs into the orange purée, then mix the ground almonds with the polenta, flour and baking powder, and fold in until well blended. Scrape the mixture into the tin, level the top and bake for 40 mins.

  3. After 40 minutes, scatter over the almonds, quickly return to the oven and bake 20-25 mins more until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the tin and leave to cool. Serve sliced as a cake, or with Greek yogurt or cream as a dessert.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Brian McFarlane's picture
Brian McFarlane
10th Mar, 2018
Far too intense on the zest front for my palate, couldn’t taste the cardamom or almond... next time I would probably lose the peel of one orange before blitzing. Also orange sizes and weights vary so I measured 300g of puréed orange rather than shoving in the whole lot which seemed about right. The texture of the cake is amazing. Will make again with above slight adjustments.
26th Feb, 2018
Delicious! Followed recipe using microwaved oranges. I microwaved and puréed the oranges the day before and popped in a sealed tub in the fridge ready to use the next day. It was light, moist and delicious. I did only use the seeds of 4 cardamom pods to avoid it being too fragrant. It was maramladey and yummy. I will definitely make this again.
5th Jan, 2018
Delicious cake, followed everyone's tips, I made the unhealthy version and replaced Xylitol with caster sugar, whisked the eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy, then folded in the other ingredients, but with only 1 tsp of baking powder, not 2 as recommended, made a slightly larger and lighter cake, scrummy!!
10th Sep, 2017
LOVED this cake. Was very wary of the method of cooking and blitzing the oranges but it turned out so well, I was pleasantly surprised. The perfect lower sugar treat :)
27th Mar, 2016
Loved this cake but because you blitz the oranges then this has an intense orange flavour; liking eating marmalade. Brilliant recipe for someone who is dairy intolerant. I too used the microwave tip for the oranges. Cut the cooking time down enormously.
21st Feb, 2015
I guess we are intended to mix the ground almonds with the polenta, flour and baking powder - rather than with the "polenta, flour and baking parchment"! I'll give this recipe a try - seems intriguing.
30th Jan, 2015
Call me stupid, but at what point, if any, are you supposed to peel the oranges?
14th Feb, 2015
You don't peel them
28th Jan, 2015
Please be aware that whilst Xylitol is considered safe for humans there can be some very serious consequences if you "treat" your dog to food containing Xylitol. An innocent tray of biscuits, made with Xylitol, left to cool was too much of a temptation for one Labrador who became extremely ill after eating them.
27th Jan, 2015
I cooked the oranges by the microwave method, they do only need a DASH of water to cook ! The completed mixture was very sloppy and I thought it may not bake , but the timings were accurate and it cooked as listed.I like orange, but the flavour in the cake is pretty intense ! It would be lovely on a summer's day ( preferably a hot day! ) as a refreshing piece of cake. I couldn't taste the cardamom ,but I couldn't read their use by date on the jar either ! If you like a strong flavour then this is the cake for you .
22nd Feb, 2015
Can I just substitute the xylitol for sugar 1:1? Or do I need to adjust the other ingredients?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Mar, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, it can be replaced 1:1. However this will change the nutritional values of the recipe. You can find out more about xylitol here: and here:
goodfoodteam's picture
2nd Mar, 2015
Hi Kestrel1608 thanks for your question. We haven't tested this recipe using sugar instead of xylitol so cannot guarantee perfect results but can see no reason why it wouldn't be fine to do so. And yes those proportions sound right - use 225g caster sugar instead of the xyliotol. Let us know how you get on. 
Brian McFarlane's picture
Brian McFarlane
10th Mar, 2018
I used caster sugar 1:1 and it was fine
28th Jan, 2015
In the Moroccan Orange and Cardomom cake recipe, it must be borne in mind that Xylitolcan have some unfortunate side effects. See Google.
29th Jan, 2015
I just want to use sugar and not xylitolcan,do I use the same amount?Thank you.
Mrs Tiggywinkle
21st Feb, 2015
Yes: :-)
28th Jan, 2015
Xylitol can have unfortunate side effects for humans too.